A huge sandstorm has hit the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia, turning the air orange
Video shows the sandstorm taking hold of the area of Xilingol League with drivers facing perilous conditions on the road.
In one scene the camera pans across an eerily deserted junction with just traffic lights and nearby buildings visible in the orange haze.
A town in the Xilingol League area of Inner Mongolia is enveloped in orange cloud of dust by the sandstorm
Visibility was reduced to just a few hundred feet on the roads during the daytime with drivers forced to use their headlights
At this junction, only this building in the immediate vicinity can be seen through the orange cloud of dust
Roads were eerily quiet, creating a surreal scene in an empty city smothered in orange sand
The wind whipped up a huge wall of sand that blew across the grassland of Inner Mongolia, battering these traditional houses
Strong wind can also be seen buffeting traditional Mongolian houses on the region’s vast grassland, as a huge cloud of dust sweeps through.
The Chinese authorities said dust and sand had covered an area of 1.5 million square kilometers, including parts of Beijing as well as the Xinjiang region in the far west.
In Beijing, the city’s air quality soared to hazardous levels as a sandstorm blew in.
China’s National Meteorological Center has issued a ‘blue’ sandstorm warning.
It told citizens in some northern regions to close doors and windows, wear scarves and dust masks and drive slowly due to poor visibility.
The sandstorm comes a few days after tourists and locals in Crete woke to the surreal scene of the Greek holiday island covered in a plume of orange Saharan dust.
Images showed the island in a yellowish hue after southerly winds transferred the dust from the Sahara Desert in Africa.
The veil of dust meant the island was surrounded by hazy orange skies for the day, making the location look like somewhere from another world.
And it was all yellow: Crete Port turned a bizarre hue on Thursday when it was covered with Sahara dust
Orange’tastic: The mass of dusty and very dry air forms over the Sahara Desert from late spring into early autumn and is known as the Saharan air layer
Mystical: Tourists and locals in Crete woke to a surreal scene yesterday morning, with the entire horizon an unusual colour
The mass of dusty and very dry air forms over the Sahara Desert from late spring into early autumn and is known as the Saharan air layer.
Plumes of dust typically move off the African coast every three to five days during this time.
The Saharan air layer is usually located 5,000 to 20,000 feet above the Earth’s surface and travels due to strong winds.
The dust usually presents high concentrations of lead, zinc, chromium and vanadium and has been associated with health problems in the Greek population.
The veil of dust meant the island was surrounded by hazy orange skies for the day, making the location look like somewhere from another world. The mass of dusty and very dry air forms over the Sahara Desert from late spring into early fall and is known as the Saharan air layer. Plumes of dust typically move off the African coast every three to five days during this time
A comparison picture shows the island of Crete on March 23 the day after it was covered in orange Saharan dust
Thursday’s orange cloud gave Crete something of a look about Mars on Thursday as resident struggled to adjust to the unusual from of light
The dust usually contains a high concentrations of lead, zinc, chromium and vanadium and has been associated with health problems in the Greek population
Tourists and locals in Crete woke to a surreal scene on Thursday morning with the Greek holiday island covered in a plume of orange Saharan dust
The orange dust Crete is experiencing is not a wholly unusual phenomenon – it has also been seen as far afield as the U.S. and other European countries in previous years
Several people are reported to have been taken to health centers and hospitals on the island of Crete due to respiratory problems created by the dust
The dust is reported to have led to a big decrease in visibility, with some residents afraid to leave their homes and others wearing gas masks to protect themselves when they venture outside
Last year Britain was cast by an eerie Martian gloom as Saharan dust whipped across the Atlantic by Hurricane Ophelia shrouded the sun turning skies over the nation red.
The October storm was believed to have picked up dust from North Africa and debris from forest fires in Spain and Portugal as it travelled towards the UK.
Skies over London and other parts of the UK were covered in a murky orange haze as the desert dust mixed with clouds, offering residents in the capital a stark contrast to the grey that usually greeted them at that time of year.
In 2013 it was reported that dust from the Sahara had traveled thousands of miles across the Atlantic and covered the state of Texas in a cloud of haze.
A number of Texans at the time reported an increase in allergy symptoms as a result of the African dust cloud.
The tiny particles aggravated existing heart and lung conditions, such as asthma, so doctors advised people to stay indoors until the cloud passed within a matter of days.